As heard at the end of Death Wish II (three shots are fired over the end of the closing credits), Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) resumed his mugger slayings even after slaying the final member of the gang that kidnapped and murdered his daughter.
Richard Shriker (Ed Lauter) of the NYPD kept tabs on Kersey’s activities or at least activities he suspected Kersey had a hand in. Namely, Shriker recalled reading of six mugger slayings in thirty-six hours in L.A., four gang members slain in Kansas City (Shriker does not specify whether this was in Missouri or Kansas), and two mugger-rapists in Chicago. Shriker and Kersey’s paths intersect again, as Shriker puts it “ten years” after Shriker’s found out Kersey was the New York vigilante (therefore present day).
Paul Kersey returns to New York to visit his friend Charley, who lives in one of the worst parts of New York City. But when Paul arrives at Charley’s apartment, he finds Charley dying after a vicious beating by a gang led by Manny Fraker (Gavin O’Herlihy), and the police enter the apartment and find Paul standing over Charley’s body. Paul is arrested for the murder, but police chief Richard S. Shriker offers a deal: Paul can kill all the criminals he wants if he keeps the cops informed about the death count.
Though Kersey says that he stopped his mugger slayings, Shriker releases Paul to go after Fraker. Paul moves into Charley’s apartment in a decaying building in the middle of a bombed out gang war zone. The building is populated by a group of elderly tenants who are absolutely terrified of Fraker and his gang which includes Alex Winter, who control the neighborhood. Marina Sirtis pops up too!
Among the tenants are Charley’s friend Bennett (Martin Balsam), an old watch repairman who keeps a couple of machine guns in his closet. There is also an elderly Jewish couple who live on the first floor. Paul buys a .475 Wildey Magnumpistol with big-game cartridges, spends an afternoon hand loading the bullets, and loads up for war against Fraker…